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DotW, 3 Men in a Boat with Champagne offer, New Ins & Car’s the Star

What is going on with this weather? Rather depressing, isn’t it? We had an order for 30 bottles of rose at the beginning of the week. It has now changed to mostly reds. Carol was suggesting we might get a frost on Saturday night – you have been warned! The forecasters are talking about June before any significant improvement. Being as changeable as it is, I am hoping for a rapid switch sometime soon.

The usual eclectic array of articles in tonights Sheldon’s Times. We have DowT and Car’s the Star (except it is a van), some great New Ins (no Bordeaux or Champagne for a change, sorry Will) and a quick article about an amazing tasting we did this week. And there is a Champagne offer **one week only** as a way of helping our intrepid rowers as they embark on their excursion down the bubbling brook that is the Thames. On you go.

Dog of the Week

This weeks furry friend is pocket-sized. His name is Fonzi and he’s a tiny little Chihuahua, so bijoux he was able to hang out on the counter with space to spare.
Many thanks to Nick and Nicola for bringing him in. Good job we had a couple of small bite-sized treats (thank you Tim and Deb, sorry Jackson and Dougie for giving one of your biscuits away) for Fonzi to chew on. Welcome to the area.

3 Men in a Boat – the time has come
(for you to sponsor)

It seems like only last week that we were shouting about the impending adventure that three brave men have been planning. In fact it was a month ago and the men concerned have spent every waking hour since intensively training. Fine physical specimens they have turned out to be, but I still have some concerns over their ability to complete the challenge. Rowing from Oxford to London in a skiff is no walk in the park, not least because the weather remains changeable and the river is like chocolate soup. Sleeping on the boat or the bank is going to be tough. And yet they seem rather jolly in this photo on a recent trial outing on the water.
We are expecting regular in-flight updates during this exciting excursion, please excuse the occasional interim email update to Sheldon’s Times readers next week. I know some of you are keen to be kept up to speed on progress down river.
As a reminder, the worthy cause that these three brave men are collecting for is Shipston Home Nursing, the palliative care provider whose mission is to help loved ones in their homes in Shipston and the surrounding villages. Please give generously, now and throughout the expedition. You can click the below link to go straight to the giving website.
Give now for 3 Men in a Boat by clicking here
No amount is too small. And no amount is too large either. Help these guys raise some cash for such a great cause. If nothing else it will make them feel better while rowing in the rain, eating in the rain, sleeping in the rain and generally getting wet.
Here’s wishing Will, David and Jonathan every success! Good luck chaps. We are with you all the way.

Edward Sheldon Champagne offer in support of 3 Men in a Boat

In an effort to support these valiant men for the duration of their adventure we are proposing an offer on Edward Sheldon Champagne:
Usual price: £23.99
Offer price (to motivate you to buy): £22.99 running from Saturday 22nd to Saturday 29th inclusive (75cl bottles only).
For every bottle of Champagne that we sell at the offer price we will donate a further pound to the cause. As I sit here we have 258 bottles of Edward Sheldon Champagne in the shop with two more pallets arriving on Tuesday, let’s see if we can raise a decent amount of cash for this good cause. If any of you choose to donate your price saving to the charity we will of course action this too.

Henschke Masterclass – what a way to spend a morning!

On Thursday this week we were lucky enough to be invited to attend a Henschke masterclass, organised by the UK importer (Liberty Wines) and hosted by Stephen Henschke directly from the winery in Keyneton in the Eden Valley, South Australia.
On the line-up were the full range of Henschke wines, from Henry’s Seven which we have in the shop) at the ‘entry’ level, right through to the current release of Hill of Grace (which we also have in the shop). What struck us about the wines was not their intensity, we expected that with South Australia wines, especially those made with Shiraz, but their balance. Each component, whether it be alcohol, acidity, tannin, aroma or flavour worked perfectly well with the other elements of the wine. Whether it was a Bordeaux blend (found in the Cyril Henschke and to an extent the Keyneton bottlings), a Rhone take (Johann’s Garden) or a straight Shiraz (Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace) each of the elements of the wine was in harmony with the rest. Testament to the viticulture of Prue Henschke and the winemaking skills of her husband, Stephen.
It was a real treat to be able to taste these wines, albeit a little earlier than we would usually tuck in. Massive Aussie wines at 9am is not for the faint-hearted. The intensity of Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace in particular helped us appreciate that any more than a glass of these would be too much, such was the stature of each of these wines. Amanda commented “these are wines perfect for the Coravin wine preservation system, you could pour a small glass and enjoy it, then come back to it again in a few weeks time”. Unusual for her not to want to drink a full bottle of New World red in one sitting. These really were amazing wines and we look forward to expanding on the range we currently have in the near future. But for now, if any of you want to dip in we still have a little:
2018 Henry’s Seven £27.95
2015 Keyneton Estate £39.95
2015 Hill of Grace £540

New Ins

Just a few New Ins today to whet the appetite. We’ve continued to build the New World stock with further wines from Chile and we have re-established our sourcing route for the wonderful wines of Chapoutier.
Errazuriz & Eduardo Chadwick
Following the successful introduction of the Chilean wine Errazuriz Las Pizarras Pinot Noir last week, I have continued shopping for further wines from this great producer. In particular Chilean Carmenere has been a gap for us, but I think we have started to sort this out.

2019 Errazuriz Aconcagua Alto Carmenere (£19.95) – from grapes grown on the Max vineyards at over 1800ft altitude, this is an intense, spicy, fruity, well balanced Carmenere at a very reasonable price.

2010 Errazuriz Kai Carmenere (£100) – coming directly from the Don Maximiano Estate (remember from last weeks email?) in the Aconcagua Valley. This is a fuller bodied expression, powerful but remaining elegant. This might be the ultimate expression of Carmenere.

2014 Sena (£125) – regularly benchmarked against the Bordeaux First Growths, this Bordeaux blend was the exciting combined venture of Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi back in 1995. The Sena vineyard is in the Aconcagua Valley and was selected specifically for its ability to produce wines of place. It is farmed biodynamically, showing full respect to the biodiversity in the area. Sena is known for its structure and complexity with fine-grained tannins and balancing acidity, it is one of the iconic wines of Chile. It is now 100% owned by Eduardo Chadwick. This 2014 bottling receives 95 points from the Wine Advocate and 97 from the Wine Spectator.

All three of these wines from Chile have the benefit of being suitable for vegans.

M. Chapoutier
The house of Chapoutier dates back to 1808 and is one of the oldest companies in the Rhone Valley. It is however in more recent times that the wines have come to the fore, expressing a true sense of terroir. The arrival of Michel Chapoutier in 1990 heralded in a new era of experimentation, open-mindedness with a thirst for knowledge. Michel is now ably assisted by his daughter, Mathilde in the running of the business.
Here at Sheldon’s we have stocked Chapoutier wines for a long while. Recently the responsibility for the importing of the Chapoutier wines changed, putting our ability to continue to source the wines in some doubt. I am delighted to say we have established a strong relationship with the new importer and have managed to maintain our access to these lovely wines. Not only that, we have secured a small parcel of the Domaine des Granges de Mirabel 2018 (£17.50) – the favourite wine (and vintage) of our guest contributor in last weeks email. Here’s what we have brought in this week:La Ciboise Blanc AOP Luberon (£9.95) – a great Luberon blanc (remember the Luberon from ‘A Year in Provence’?), this wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Viognier and Rousanne. a lovely fruity wine with stone fruits and some more exotic flavours.
La Ciboise Rouge AOP Luberon (£10.95) – historically we have had the wine of the same name from the Costieres de Nimes AOP. This new version is from the Luberon Regional Nature Park, with the vines growing at 350m altitude. Think black fruits, silky tannins and a hint of liquorice on the finish.
Les Tanneurs AOP Saint Peray (£19.95) – the Saint Peray AOP is the southernmost appellation in the Northern Rhone and is only permitted to make white wines. This is a Marsanne dominant blend with a little oak barrel ageing giving a touch of complexity. Green apple, white blossom and honey.From the organic collection from Chapoutier we have the return of the Cotes du Rhone Blanc and Rouge (both at £13.95), plus the new introduction of the fully biodynamic Chateauneuf du Pape (£35.95), all under the Collection Bio label.
Finally from Chapoutier we have replenished long-since-depleted stocks of their vin doux natural Banyuls Selection Parcellaire (£18.50 for 50cl). 100% Grenache Noir, the fermentation of the grape juice is stopped by the addition of grape spirit, the same way port is made. The wine is then aged in vats and bottles for a year before release. This is black fruits, cloves and spice with velvety tannins. Serve slightly chilled with cheese or dessert. Yum.

Car’s the Star

This week’s Car’s the Star isn’t a car at all. It is the new, shiny Corney and Barrow delivery van. Just an ordinary van I hear you cry? Well almost.
Perhaps the most famous Burgundy wine in the world is Domaine de la Romanee Conti. The Domaine owns a number of vines in Vosne Romanee, including the monopoles of La Tache and Romanee Conti. Corney and Barrow are the exclusive importers of Domaine de la Romanee Conti wines into the UK market. When referring to the domaine, folk often abbreviate to DRC. Nice to see Corney and Barrow have taken the time to equip the van with a private numberplate.
Many thanks to Adam, Will, Tree and Liv for looking after me at Corney and Barrow for the last 5 years. It has been quite a journey, long may we continue drinking great bottles!
That will do for tonights edition. It seems the miserable weather is set in for while longer but that won’t dampen our spirits. A weekend of being allowed to eat indoors lies ahead and I am sure many of us will be enjoying a little local hospitality. If however you are planning on staying in, Amanda, Trish and I will be here to help you pick some lovely wines for you to enjoy.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your tiny-dog-adoring, 9am-Aussie-wine-enduring, DRC-numberplate-loving wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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